Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

layered pumpkin centerpiece dessert

(2 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Stacia Osborn
Long Beach, CA

I don't even know what to call this. It is half cake, half flan; an amazing layered delight that will wow any and all pumpkin connoisseurs. Although I personally do not like using cake mixes for cookies, I do love to doctor cake mixes and use them to make impressive cakes like this show-stopper. I make this every year at Christmas and this year I realized I had never shared it here on JAP. You're going to LOVE this.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

If you are a pumpkin lover, you will love this unusual dessert. It's full of delicious pumpkin goodness. The final dessert is a cross between a spice cake and a flan. The caramel that oozes over the cake when you flip it onto a platter is just perfection. We opted to taste it the next day after chilling for 24 hours. Delish! Definitely a showstopper dessert.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(2 ratings)
yield 12 +
prep time 3 Hr
cook time 1 Hr
method Bake

Ingredients For layered pumpkin centerpiece dessert

  • 1 jar
    caramel sauce/topping or cajeta (feel free to make your own if you prefer)
  • 1 box
    spice cake mix (plus ingredients required as directed on box)
  • 1 c
    canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    pumpkin pie spices
  • 1 can
    Coke (do not substitute Diet Coke)
  • 12 oz
    evaporated milk
  • 14 oz
    sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 (to 5)
    large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp
    vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp
    canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp
    pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 (to 8) oz
    cream cheese, room temperature

How To Make layered pumpkin centerpiece dessert

Test Kitchen Tips
Our cake did take a little longer to bake, around 15-20 minutes longer, so keep a close eye on it.
  • Greased Bundt pan sitting in a springform pan.
    PREPARE: Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 12 cup Bundt cake pan with PAM. Find a cake pan (or another oven-safe pan) that is large enough to stand the Bundt cake pan in and put 2" of water into it. I use a cast iron skillet to stand the Bundt pan in - it doesn't matter what you use as long as it is deep enough to hold 2" of water and is oven safe.
  • Prepared cake batter in a bowl.
    THE CAKE: You will make the spice cake as directed on the package, except you will substitute the water with Coke instead (do not use both Coke and water!). You will also include the cup of pumpkin and the 1.5 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice in the mixing bowl. Mix with a hand held mixer until any large lumps are gone - probably 2 minutes is plenty. Set aside.
  • Flan batter in a bowl.
    THE FLAN: Combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, 4 oz of cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well (2-3 minutes) and set aside. FYI: You can use up to 5 eggs and 8 oz of cream cheese.
  • Caramel added to bottom of Bundt pan.
    ASSEMBLE: Pour the 1 1/2 cups of Cajeta (or any caramel sauce) into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Cake batter poured over caramel.
    Pour the cake batter evenly on top of the caramel.
  • Flan mixture poured on top of cake batter.
    Slowly pour the flan mixture on top of the cake batter. The flan mixture will sink to the bottom and the cake batter will rise to the top. Make sure it does not overflow.
  • Dessert baking in the oven.
    BAKE IT! Cover the Bundt cake pan with foil. I strongly recommend the Reynolds Non-Stick aluminum foil to save yourself trouble, but use what you've got. Stand the Bundt cake pan in the pan holding the 2" of water. Place both pans in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, removing the foil on the bundt pan after 45 minutes baking time. At that 45 minute mark, you can begin checking for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cake. Also, take a knife and gently pull the cake way from the center stem of the Bundt pan to take a peek at the cake. It is very important that the cake is completely done and starting to separate from the sides of the pan. If the cake is at all gooey, return it to the oven. If the cake is not fully cooked, the flan won't set.
  • Allowing the dessert to cool.
    FINISH LINE: Remove the cake from the oven and place the Bundt pan on a cooling rack, allowing it to reach room temperature (that will take about 1 hour). Place the pan in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  • A slice of Layered Pumpkin Centerpiece Dessert on a plate.
    TA DA! Remove the pan from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving time. Place a serving plate (cake plate, platter… whatever!) on top of the Bundt pan and invert. Just leave it alone. As it warms up, it will come out of the pan and onto the serving plate all on its own. The caramel sauce will drip down the sides and pool at the bottom. Lift the pan off and WOWEE the fanciest dessert ever!
  • 10
    HELPFUL TIP: If you're transporting this delight, leave it in the Bundt cake pan until you reach your destination and then invert it onto the serving plate when you arrive. :-)